Edna Kelly’s Zucchini Jam

Edna Walker was raised on her parents’ farm near Bury’s Green. Her mother died in 1923, when Edna was about eight, leaving her and four younger siblings. On early twentieth century farms, children were expected to help as soon as they were able, but in Edna’s case, the need was much more pressing, as she helped care for her brothers and sisters. As a young adult she married Bill Kelly, and they raised their family a few miles from her childhood home.

Edna grew up in an era when families got by largely on the fruits of their own labour. Practically everyone had a vegetable garden, that made summer a season with many more culinary options. Zucchinis were a crop that was very plentiful when in season. When it` ripened, there would often be altogether more squash than could be consumed at the time. Being able to turn them into a delicious preserve ensured that none of the crop went to waste. As she aged, Edna continued to enjoy making zucchini jam. This recipe was recorded in the final year of her life, and reflects the new ingredients that were commonly available by the 1990s.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups grated peeled zucchini
  • A scant ½ cup water
  • 1 cup undrained crushed pineapple
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1 large or 2 small packages of Jello Powder – Peach, Apricot or Orange

Directions

  • Simmer zucchini in water, covered, over medium heat for 15 minutes
  • Add pineapple, lemon juice and sugar.
  • Gently return to boil, then remove from heat.
  • Add Jello and put in refrigerator to set.
  • Preserve in mason jars.
  • Optional: May substitute 3 cups chopped oranges for some of the zucchini.

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